Is Your News Release Too Staid?

Zagat rates GoogleWhen Google announced it acquired restaurant, hotel and travel guide Zagat on Sept. 8, 2011, it did so with a haiku on Twitter and a Zagat-style rating for Google on the survey site.

An article in The New York Times points to the Google announcement as one example of increasingly creative approaches to the more than 100-year-old corporate press release. 

Daily deal merchant Groupon also earns a mention for its creative copy and less-than-formal approach to the traditional PR tool.

Language in a recent Groupon press release would make your English teacher scowl but might capture a reporter’s eye when he or she is scanning a crowded email inbox.

The headline for the release, which divulges the $950 million the company raised in its latest financing round, reads “Groupon Raises, Like, A Billion Dollars.” While informal, the title fits Groupon’s brand personality. “Life is too short to be a boring company,” wrote CEO Andrew Mason in a letter to investors earlier this year.

However, if your brand tone skews to the formal, you will approach this communication trend with caution.

For industries such as financial services and utilities, the traditional news release is like a trusty basic around which you build your wardrobe. “Kind of like wearing a navy blazer,” says Richard Dukas, chief executive of Dukas Public Relations, in the article. “You can’t go wrong.”

Would a less formal press release work for your company? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.

You might also enjoy: Adding Multimedia Content Improves Press Release Views

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About creativeconsiderations

Christine Sullivan is a communications strategist with expertise in communications planning, writing and content development, and executive communications. She can be reached at mycreativeconsiderations@gmail.com.
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